Parenting during lockdown: what’s the hardest age to deal with?
Wowsers, what a week. My wife summed up our first seven days of parenting during lockdown perfectly when she said: “Relentless, it’s just absolutely relentless.”
I don’t think any mums or dads would argue with the above statement. However, after spending a bit of time on parenting forums in the last few days, I do think that they would squabble about the toughest age of kid to deal with during a lockdown. I mean, does the fact a baby can’t move make them easier to parent than a hormonal teen who is demanding to see his or her mates? Or, does the fact the teen actually likes spending time in bed make them a walk in the park in comparison with a teething cryaholic who just won’t let you put them down? It’s a tough call, and that’s before we even get on to tantrum throwing toddlers, or attitude-packed pre-teens who need some hardcore homeschooling.
Parenting during lockdown: the key groups
I know what you’re thinking. If only someone was able to find a democratic way of dealing with this debate once-and-for-all. Step forward Father-Hood.co.uk. In a bid to draw a line under this argument, I took to Twitter and asked the following question: Okay #parents, I know we’re all biased, but seriously, which is the hardest age group to deal with during a lockdown?
I then gave mums and dads a choice of four age groups. They could vote 0-2, 3-6, 7-12 or teenagers. And do you know what? A whopping 404 people took me up on this offer (loads of people must, you know, be stuck inside or something).
What parents had to say
I’ll get on to the actual results later, but right now I want to highlight some of the absolutely brilliant comments I received on this thread. As you will see, they ranged from balanced and thoughtful opinions to bang on the money GIFs via bona fide pleas for help.
My 4yo found harder (than 8 and 17yo) to start with as didn't understand why the new routine-e.g. why cant see his friends, why is the playground locked etc….— clarematysova (@clarematysova) March 26, 2020
But think this may change as time goes on…. https://t.co/zXVmWLrELB
I mean, my 2 keeps throwing himself off the couch every time my back is turned but I feel like that 3-6 age group is more devious…— ☕New-ish Mom🍷 (@LifeThrewLemons) March 25, 2020
We have a two and a five. At least with the five you can deploy a screen when you absolutely must get some work done. The two requires constant attention.— HomeWorkingClub (@homeworkingclub) March 26, 2020
A vote for teenagers
Well all the teenagers running amok in Devon tonight would suggest they are.— Richard Joyce (@rjoyce533) March 26, 2020
i voted 3-6 because my 4 year old was finally in a good routine with school and then BOOM. now he’s all off.— lane⚜️ (@theduncan5) March 25, 2020
3.5 y/o, 5y/o and a wife locked in her bedroom – send help!— Liam (@ThisIsLiamM) March 26, 2020
I put 0-2, but really only mean the “2” part. Toddler here and boy is this A LOT 😳 tiny babies need a lot of care, but you can also just put them in a sling while you work and they’re happy campers 🙂— Newbie Mommy (@newbieHannah) March 26, 2020
I have a 4 and 6 and actually I think babies/toddlers would be worse— Fran (@WhingeWine) March 26, 2020
I’ve got 1, 4 and 5 at home but I still think teenagers must be the hardest???— themamabubble (@themamabubble1) March 26, 2020
Charlie is defo finding it harder that my 11m old. He’s like a wound up toy, just so much energy he needs to get out!! Thank god for the garden 🙌🏻— Claire Lock (@clairewoods93) March 25, 2020
🤦🏽♀️ ha! I have a 3yo (4 in May) and 2 yo boy/girl twins! Heeeellllpppp!!— Melanie Shaw (@MelShaw82) March 25, 2020
What about when you've got 2 and 4 at home? 😳😬— Kirsty (@Phoenixk2x) March 25, 2020
And, last but not least…
Parenting during lockdown poll: the final results
I want to thank everyone who took the time to comment and vote for two reasons. First, this tsunami of interaction made my Twitter feed look very, very good. Second, when all the votes were counted they revealed what I, the dad of a 4-year-old, knew all along. Namely: that kids in the 3-6 age group are the toughest to deal with during a lockdown because they have a short attention span, an even shorter temper, and enough independence to cause you problems, but not enough independence to leave you alone for more than five minutes. Oh, and more energy than a fresh pack of Duracell AAs. Anyway, here are the final figures.
Okay #parents, I know we’re all biased, but seriously, which is the hardest age group to deal with during a lockdown?— Father-Hood.co.uk (@fatherhoodcouk) March 25, 2020
Right, got to go. The relentless nature of parenting during lockdown means I had 45 minutes to write this blog post and I’ve already been here for an hour.
Stay safe, stay at home and keep phoning your friends and relatives (especially the older ones). This situation is a nightmare, but together we can get through it.
Until next time…